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Mrs MotorbikeWriter goes motorcycle shopping

Mrs MotorbikeWriter partner
MBW and Mrs MBW in the USA
  • Mrs MotorbikeWriter
    Mrs MotorbikeWriter

    Back by popular request is Mrs MotorbikeWriter … and this time she’s going motorcycle shopping!

MotorbikeWriter has had a million bikes over the years and a few times he’s asked my opinion on what he should buy next. But I either didn’t care or offer an opinion. I think my response went along the lines of “what colour is it?”. Often he ended up buying bikes on which I didn’t feel comfortable or wanted to ride anywhere. I can’t even tell you what they were except there was a blue one, a red one, a yellow one, a few black ones and some white ones. It still amazes me that he says “remember the Yamaha XC750 (no such thing – MBW) blah blah that we took away for a weekend at Montville?”. I can remember the details of the weekend, the food I ate, my favourite winery, my retail activities but I couldn’t tell you anything about the bike except it had two wheels. Actually the only bike I can ever remember is a bike called a Blackbird, which is strange because it was blue. And, man, was it uncomfortable as a pillion.

Mrs MotorbikeWriter
Mr and Mrs MBW in the USA

After our recent epic 6000km trip across the USA on a big Victory (Cross Country Tour – MBW) with loads of luggage space and a comfortable pillion seat, I’m hooked and I want MBW to get rid of his bike (BMW R 1200 GS) and buy something we can ride together. I have expressed to MBW that he needs something that makes a statement, looks spunky and matches my earrings. So now, much to his delight, I’m going motorcycle shopping!

I have never understood people’s obsessions about bikes or cars and the need to “trick” them up. However, after spending a week at Sturgis mixing with some of the world’s most passionate bikers I am finally starting to get it. I can now appreciate the beauty of chrome that has been lovingly polished until you can clearly see your own reflection.

I’ve tried to get my bike licence but that ended in disaster (and probably a separate story another time) and I’m happy just to sit on the back. But I do like to see over the top of MBW and the pillion seat has to be comfortable. My fear is that the Victory may be a hard act to follow as it was extremely comfortable. I am happy to compromise as long as it has some cushioning for when we hit a bump. The seat also needs a sturdy back rest. I also want a decent foot peg/rest as the thin foot pegs are uncomfortable after a while.

Mrs MotorbikeWriter
The BMW R 1200 GS has to go!

Room for some luggage would also be desirable. The Victory luggage space was amazing. MBW says it’s the biggest you can get. I need lots of space for changes of clothes. For example, when we arrive at our destination, I like to throw the helmet, bulky jacket and chunky motorcycle boots in the luggage and put on a nice pair of shoes, a feminine jacket and accessories such as a scarf and earrings which I can’t wear under a helmet.

I have a bower bird complex so I think the bike should sparkle in the sunlight. Can you even get sequined bike colours? Perhaps that will be the next trend in the motorbike world. Just imagine if Camilla started bike decorating? Now that is a bike look that I could fully embrace. What is a Camilla I hear you ask? Google it, but be warned once you are hooked on Camilla it is an expensive obsession. If Camilla made bike clothes I would never drive again!

Mrs MotorbikeWriter
Luggage for the essentials, like wine!

We don’t need a big expensive bike because we don’t get the time to go on big tours. The bike will be used mainly for trips to restaurants, friends’ places or weekends away at a nice resort or day spa.

We once had a long-term bike that was pretty good two-up because it was low and I could get on easily; another desirable trait. MBW tells me it was a Bonneville. In fact, he got pretty excited when I seemed to like it, so he went out and bought a similar bike that had a high exhaust pipe (Triumph Scrambler). I took one look at that pipe and said “I’m not getting on that. I’ll burn my leg”. So he sold it straight away!

Mrs MotorbikeWriter
A backrest is essential

MBW has a long history of buying things then deciding he made the wrong choice. I am the only thing he has not wanted to trade in after a year. So to avoid the dramas of buying and selling a quick succession of bikes I have decided to go motorcycle shopping with MBW and resist the temptation to take control.

We are looking for something like a Bonneville that doesn’t have a high pipe, but has enough luggage space and pillion comfort to take us for weekends away and is a little bit sparkly and sexy. Got any suggestions?

  • Check out the ad for MBW’s GS!
Mrs MotorbikeWriter
Mrs MBW usually ditches the jacket and boots when she gets off the bike
  1. You have a really patient and loving husband. This post has made me realise just how easy some of us have it. Apparently if I ever get a goldwing she’ll laugh and refuse to be seen on such an elephantine creature but beyond that she gets offended if I consult her in my choice off ride. I have pretty much been trained by her that pillions shut up, put up and don’t bash helmets. But I know nothing beyond being a youthful upstart with an old bike and a pillion from a family that’s had bikers since motorbikes were a thing, who has been part of my motorcycle experience from about the second day of my licence.

  2. Congratulations MBW – looks like you may have achieved something most guys thought was impossible! And all it took was a trip to the other side of the planet followed by a 6000km ride.

    Unfortunate, I think all spouses have different degrees of resistance. Last time I took mine she held on so tight around my waist I had difficulty breathing and I could not hear the engine over the sounds of the screams from behind me (note I did not exceed about 20kph). Before she will get on again I need a bike that goes around corners vertically (leaning is not acceptable – feels like the bike will fall over) and a helmet that does not mess up the hair. Maybe next millennium?

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